Tips for Conquering Clutter in Your Office

No matter where your desk is, home or at work, it’s the center of your productivity, which means that it’s meant to be clutter-free. However, most desks are filled with different momentos, papers, and other personal items, which could be causing you both stress and time. In fact, recent studies have shown that an average worker wastes nearly 150 hours per year looking for lost papers, in which, one in every 20 documents are never found.

To help save you time and energy with your cluttered desk, follow our tips below on how to conquer clutter in your office space.

1. Set a routine

Set up some sort of routine, whether it be day-to-day or week-to-week to clean up your desk and reorganize it after hectic workdays. Remember, every item in your desk should have its own, unique space.

2. Everything Requires a Place

While you clean out your office and workspace, consider the idea that everything you own needs its own space. Keep the mnemonic “RAT” in your mind for every item that you keep in your office. RAT, meaning Retain it, Act on it, or simply Toss it.

However, you can use this ideology for e-files and emails as well. Your computer can become just as junked up as your office space. Once your receive emails, read them, and either store or delete them. There shouldn’t be any lingering around, just waiting to be acted on.

3. Choose an Effective Filing System

If you have piles of documents in your office, it’s important that you can locate a specific document without too much trouble. This is why it’s so important to have some sort of filing system in place, whether it be filing crates, cabinets, or boxes.

However, you should set your filing system close to your desk so you don’t have to travel too far to store a document. That way, you won’t procrastinate storing paperwork, which may end just becoming another cluttered mess. But, if you don’t have the necessary space, file your papers in a common room of your house, such as your living room.

4. Make Sure You Keep Items in Your Office at Appropriate Distances

Make sure that you are keeping items in your office at appropriate distances. For example, if you use something every day, place it on or in your desk. If you use something once a week, make sure you can reach it from your desk chair. If you use an item in your office once a month, keep it somewhere in your work area. However, if you use something less than once a month, you can keep it out of your work area altogether.

5. Organize Your Wires

You never want to be working at a desk that’s covered with wires for your electronics. Try clearing off your desk as much as possible and wrap the remaining wires in Velcro to keep them out of the way. However, you should make sure to use the longest wires in your office, shorter ones may be less effective to arrange them. You can also remove your wires completely where possible, like with your headset, mouse and keyboard.

6. Designate an Office Supply Drawer

In this drawer, only keep the supplies that you use on a regular basis. There is no need to keep 25 unopened boxes of paperclips in your desk. Move your extra supplies to a separate space.

7. Limit Your Paper Use

Try to cut down on the amount of paper you use. Don’t print anything unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do have paper, make sure you recycle it when you no longer need it.

8. Reduce Junk Mail and Spam

Nobody likes getting junk mail in their mailbox or email inbox. To get rid of regular junk mail, contact the Direct Marketing Association. The same group can also help to reduce unwanted email spam. They offer an Email preference service, which you can use to limit spam.

9. Showcase Your Photos on Your Computer

Though you may love to have photos of your family on display, the frames can take up a lot of space. Instead, use your photos to make a rotating slideshow on your computer and use it as your screensaver or background image.